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From The Battle of Britain to Bombing Hitler's Berchtesgaden (Hardback)

Wing Commander James ‘Jim’ Bazin, DSO, DFC

Aviation > Royal Air Force Aviation > WWII > Battle of Britain Aviation > WWII > Luftwaffe Military > Biographies WWII

By Fenella & Michael Bazin
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781399066907
Published: 6th April 2023


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It was Tuesday, 17 October 1939. Britain had been at war with Germany for more than amonth and for only the second time the Luftwaffe had dared to enter British airspace –and at last James ‘Jim’ Bazin’s chance had come.

After joining the Auxiliary Air Force in 1935, Jim was an experienced pilot when war brokeout and he was eager to test his skills against the enemy. This first combat was the startof a career which saw Wing Commander Bazin, as he was to become, being posted toFrance with 607 (County of Durham) Squadron. He fought there until the last days of theBattle of France. He was also shot down behind enemy lines, but successfully evadedcapture to return to his squadron and resume the fight.

There was no respite for Bazin. Playing a major part in re-building 607 Squadron, he wasonce again defending Britain’s skies in his trusty Hurricane as the Luftwaffe sought todestroy Fighter Command in the summer of 1940. With ten kills to his name, he hadbattled his way to becoming an ace and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross inOctober that year. But merely driving off the Luftwaffe was not enough for him. Now aWing Commander, he was posted to Inverness where he served as a Controller in 14Group’s Operations Room, which gave him a taste for offensive operations.

In time, Bazin was one of a small number of fighter pilots who volunteered to move toBomber Command. He duly undertook a conversion course in 1943, eventually joining 49Squadron as a Lancaster pilot to take the war to the very heart of the enemy.

After flying with 49 Squadron in Bomber Command’s support of the D-Day Landings, Bazin,now commanding 9 Squadron and operating alongside the Dambusters, led many daylightattacks on special targets such as U-boat pens, refineries, viaducts and, most notably, thesuccessful attacks on Hitler’s great battleship Tirpitz.

Unrelenting in his efforts against the enemy, Jim Bazin was involved in operations againsttargets in Poland and Germany right up until the end of the war. This culminated in the lastmajor RAF operation of the Second World War when, on 25 April 1945, Bomber Commandattacked the Berghof, Hitler’s Alpine retreat, and other targets in Berchtesgaden. Jim Bazinwas awarded the DSO in September 1945 – rightful recognition for a man who had doneso much to bring about the defeat of the enemy.

The authors' family and other research has uncovered new insights into Bazin’s life and, in particular, the special bomber operations which were undertaken late in World War 2. The product of their work is a valuable and detailed addition to the history of the Royal Air Force.

Read the review here

Battle of Britain Memorial Trust website

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

About Fenella & Michael Bazin

Michael and Fenella Bazin live in the north of the Isle of Man, close to where Fenella was born and raised. They met in England and married in Birmingham where they were living and working. Michael was born in 1941 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He spent many childhood weekends and holidays with his brother and cousins walking in the Border country with shepherds and rabbit-catchers. His love of classical music gradually focused on the early music movement, an interest also close to Fenella’s heart. The artists of North-east England, aspects of military history, and participation in archaeological excavations are among his many interests. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Fenella continues to perform as pianist and singer, is an author, broadcaster and a historian with a particular interest in the history of the Isle of Man and the Viking Age. Her doctorate on the island’s music resulted in several books, as well as articles in journals and reference books published in Britain and North America. On retirement as Acting Director of the Centre for Manx Studies, the University of Liverpool, she continues her research and enjoys lecturing on cruise ships.

Perfect Partner

The ‘Real’ Spitfire Pilot Flight Lieutenant D.M. Crook DFC’s Original Unpublished Manuscript (Hardback)

Flight Lieutenant David Moore Crook DFC’s original Spitfire Pilot ranks among the finest first-hand accounts published during the Second World War, particularly for a Battle of Britain airman. It rightly remains a sought-after classic. A Spitfire pilot during the epic aerial battles of the summer of 1940, ‘DMC’ became a decorated ace. However, he did not survive the war: his Spitfire inexplicably crashed into the sea off the Scottish coast on 18 December 1944. A married man and father, he remains missing. First published under wartime conditions in 1942, Spitfire Pilot was not heavily censored…

By David M Crook, Dilip Sarkar MBE

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